Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Rates Increase: Yes or No?

In the Medical News Today article “Health Insurance Customers in California, Mass. Await Decisions About Premium Increases,” they discuss insurance customers’ hopes that their premiums will not be going up.  Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest for-profit health insurer in California, has plans to increase health insurance premiums by as much as 39% in California and Massachusetts.  After announcing the plans, there was an uproar from the the public citizens who purchase individual health insurance from Anthem Blue Cross.  Because of the public outrage, California insurance commissioner Steve Poizner appointed outside actuary Axene Health Partners to evaluate the company’s spending practices.

While Anthem is probably none too thrilled with this process, they have no choice but to wait.  May 1 is the date that Anthem agreed to wait for after a two month stall of their rate hikes.  Many of the company’s 800,000 individual policyholders will see their premiums increase if Axene Health Partners’ report shows no misconduct on the books of Anthem Blue Cross.  The report should be available and a determination made in approximately two weeks.  Until that time, individual insurance policyholders with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield wait on baited breath to see if their health care costs are going to skyrocket.

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